Blu - Good To Be Home (Album Review)

I remember hearing Below The Heavens when it was originally released. It was pretty impressive, but it seemed like it took a little bit for the album to make a huge impact. In some ways Blu seemed to make some big headway when rap acts like The Cool Kids, Fashawn, The Knux, etc... began to get a lot of exposure more towards late 2008 or early 2009. Skip forward to 2014 when many people view Below The Heavens as a modern day hip-hop/rap classic. Blu followed the album up with a series of other interesting projects. I'd say NoYork! (or York) depending on when you heard the album was another interesting release. It was released originally in 2011 and was later released with the York name. Still nothing quite sit the same with me that was until I heard Blu's newest album Good To Be Home.

Good To Be Home is quite possibly nearly as good as Below The Heavens. It's the closest, in my opinion, Blu has ever come to capturing my excitement to listen to a Blu album as he did with the debut album. This double album is almost perfectly put together. The beats and rapping are some of the best stuff I've heard from Blu. The vibe of the album is awesome and the subject material covered in the lyrical content is really interesting. Beat wise it's great. The beats create a great vibe and I never feel exhausted while listening to the double album. Keeping the listener continuously enthralled is important when you have such a massive amount of material presented. Blu is able to keep the listener interested in the same way 2Pac did on his album All Eyez On Me. The formula isn't complicated but few artists can do it really well. It is simple; just give the listener quality track after quality track. There just isn't a lot of filler here, if any at all. It's twenty new tracks, nothing re-released (we've seen Blu re-release previously released music quite a few times). I mean this is the official follow-up to York which was a re-release of an old album. York definitely felt a little dated by the time it was officially released. So it is really nice to hear a batch of all new songs.

Exile was the producer behind Below The Heavens and the pair seemed to work perfectly together. This time around Blu has found another perfect match in producer Bombay. The beats are crafted perfectly. The samples used on this project are really interesting. As a whole Bombay's beats compliment Blu's rapping ability perfectly. It’s possibly even better than some of the Exile beats.

There are a lot of nods to great hip-hop/rap acts of the past as well as including a slew of guest rappers that represent the newer crop of great hip-hop/rap artists. Guests include members of PacDiv, Thurzday (previously of U-N-I), Casey Veggies, Fashawn, and the list goes on but those are some of the big highlights. The nods to past rap/hip-hop not only comes in the look of the album artwork, but in themes, lyrics, samples, and in some of the sounds of the beats. It has a really nice modern west coast rap feel while still maintaining that classic sound and vibe.

Song wise any of the album’s 20 tracks could be appealing to the listener. Like I said earlier there’s not a lot of filler. From the first part of the album the single "West Coast" is a great track. "Boyz N The Hood" is another really great track. Fashawn and members from PacDiv show up on that track and it turned out great. "Well Fare" is another standout track. Featuring Thurz (previously of U-N-I) and up and comer Casey Veggies. This is easily one of my favorite tracks off the second part of the album. It has a great hook and all three rappers deliver high quality verses. "Dre Day" is just impressive in beat and how hungry the lyrics are. It's a beast of a rap song.

If you're a Blu fan or just getting into Blu this album should really please you. This is about as good as it gets. I also really like the artwork for this super interesting art piece and it’s definitely eye catching. It's fantastic overall. After I heard it the album has really skyrocketed to one of my favorite hip hop albums I've heard this year, if not the best one I've heard this year. You don't hear many as good as this one. I would highly recommend it!

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